This Is Us’ Justin Hartley: Milo Ventimiglia, Sterling K. Brown Are ‘Two of My Best Friends’

justin-hartley-milo-best-friends
Milo Ventimiglia and Justin Hartley attend The 22nd Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on December 11, 2016 in Santa Monica, California. Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Justin Hartley has become close with his This Is Us costars Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K. Brown — but don’t call it a bromance.

“I don’t know if I like the word bromance. People seem to like that word,” Hartley, 40, exclusively tells Us Weekly. “I love those guys though. We all get along. They are two of my best friends. I really do love both those dudes. They’re great.”

Hartley and Brown, 41, play Kevin and Randall, respectively, on the NBC drama, with Ventimiglia, 40, as their dad, Jack Pearson. The pair don’t share too much air time with the Gilmore Girls alum (Jack died when their characters were in high school), but the trio take advantage of their time off-camera.

“I know the show gets really heavy sometimes and gets really sad and deep — but in-between takes sometimes that’s what keeps you going into the next take is that you have to sort of release a laugh,” Hartley says. “And those two dudes make me laugh all day long.”

During some of those “heavy” scenes, Jack often recites heartwarming speeches to his children — including Kate (Chrissy Metz). Hartley says that he sometimes can relate to the fictional patriarch.

Justin-Hartley,-Sterling-K.-Brown-and-Milo-Ventimiglia-best-friends
Justin Hartley, Sterling K. Brown and Milo Ventimiglia attend The screening of NBC “This Is Us” at The Tenth Annual PaleyFest Fall TV Previews presented by The Paley Center For Media, in Beverly Hills, California, on September 13, 2016. VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images

“I think Milo does a great job portraying a good father who wants the best for his kids and wants his kids to be better than him. And every time Isabella will do anything I always want it to be better than the way I did it,” he says of his 13-year-old daughter. “Being an actor you go through this thing where you want to be the best and I think in life in general you go through this thing where you want to be the best always, constantly. And then you have a child and the only thing you want is for your child to be a lot better than you ever were. I feel a lot of the way he handles things. There’s a calmness about him. I try to be as calm and as reassuring and a rock to my daughter as I possibly can be. I try to teach her everything that I never knew when I was her age and I try to give her all the advantages and the things that I didn’t have when I was her age.”

This-Is-Us-cast
Chrissy Metz, Sterling K. Brown, Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Justin Hartley Maarten de Boer/NBC via Getty Images

Of course, some of Jack’s memories with his family and wife Rebecca (Mandy Moore) lead to many tears. While fans cry at home, Hartley jokes that it’s Metz who is the one with a tissue box on set.

“Chrissy is really in touch with her emotions,” he tells Us. “It’s one of the many amazing things about her. She’s just really a genuine, kind, loving human being. And we love that about her.”

This Is Us returns on NBC on January 9 at 9 p.m. ET.

For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!